Vaillant Ecomax keeps losing pressure. I'm cold!

33
Found 6th MarEdited by:"squiff"
Hi all,

My stupid boiler, which I have had no end of problems with, is firing out the error code F.25 which means the pressure is low. I turn the tap underneath until the pressure is towards the top of the green band. Within a few minutes it drops again, cuts out and displays the F.25 message again. I've refilled it at LEAST ten times today but it's having none of it. There is another tap under the boiler but I can't turn it at all.

Now a bit of a sob story - I've just literally spent four months in hospital including a month in critical care, sedated and on a ventilator. I'm home but in severe neurological pain and HAVE to keep warm. It's agony going up or down the stairs so I can't keep going up to refill the boiler every few minutes. The plumber can't come out until Monday and that's the soonest anyone can come out that I've found, despite telling them of the urgency. Any help would be much appreciated as I'm starting to feel cold, ill and tearful. Thank you.
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Are all of the radiators hot from bottom to top, there are no cold spots?
Original Poster
Dannyrobbo1 m ago

Are all of the radiators hot from bottom to top, there are no cold spots?


I don't know Danny, the heating won't stay on long enough for the radiators to get warm.
Error F25 is one of the following:

Pump Obstructed, pump running at low capacity, air in applicance, system pressure too low, flow and backflow NTC reversed
Likely internal boiler vessel / PRV leak or external system leak. Sadly I doubt either has a quick fix. Possibly the most practical method would be to visibly view all exposed pipework and radiators to see if there is any sign of system leaks that could be temporarily fixed / reduced prior to professional involvement next week, although such a rapid pressure loss suggests you would have already noticed a system leak by now. Sorry it is not more encouraging.
I’d start by fully filling the rads. Make sure all radiator bleed valves are closed. And fill the system like you have been then Using a radiator key opening the bleed valves and letting the air out until water flows catch it with a towel. You will find the pressure drops again so you may have to do this more than once.

maybe give that a go, google filling central heating system there’s loads of info
AndyRoyd1 m ago

Likely internal boiler vessel / PRV leak or external system leak. Sadly I …Likely internal boiler vessel / PRV leak or external system leak. Sadly I doubt either has a quick fix. Possibly the most practical method would be to visibly view all exposed pipework and radiators to see if there is any sign of system leaks that could be temporarily fixed / reduced prior to professional involvement next week, although such a rapid pressure loss suggests you would have already noticed a system leak by now. Sorry it is not more encouraging.


If the pressure goes up dramatically when the boiler is switched on its probably the vessel isn't it?
have a look at the blow off pipe outside.....if that is blowing out the water time to get an engineer in. that would indicate a problem that can't be fixed right away by you
Edited by: "discozohan" 6th Mar
Try bleeding your radiators one at a time, bleed key is about a quid from Tesco. Then try re-pressurising.

There really is not a lot else you can DIY with it, everything is sealed inside the case of a combi boiler and you really shouldn't be fiddling inside it.

I'd go and get a cheap fan heater and await the plumber. Won't cost a great deal running for a few days and you can probably get close to your money back on Shpock when it's fixed.

I'd really recommend British Gas Homecare boiler cover for future use.
Also, if you're anyway near Staines in Surrey I've got a fan heater you can collect for free.
moneybag4 m ago

Try bleeding your radiators one at a time, bleed key is about a quid from …Try bleeding your radiators one at a time, bleed key is about a quid from Tesco. Then try re-pressurising.There really is not a lot else you can DIY with it, everything is sealed inside the case of a combi boiler and you really shouldn't be fiddling inside it.I'd go and get a cheap fan heater and await the plumber. Won't cost a great deal running for a few days and you can probably get close to your money back on Shpock when it's fixed.I'd really recommend British Gas Homecare boiler cover for future use.


Only that British Gas failed quite a few customers recently. I've heard the same story from all of those on their Homecare service.

Pops
popolou6 m ago

Only that British Gas failed quite a few customers recently. I've heard …Only that British Gas failed quite a few customers recently. I've heard the same story from all of those on their Homecare service.Pops


I can only speak from my own experience, had an old Vaillant already in the house I just bought, engineer came out same day it broke, diagnosed then came the next day with over £500 of parts and spent 4 hours stripping down and cleaning the boiler all for £60 excess.
33389470-u1uRK.jpg
Edited by: "moneybag" 6th Mar
moneybag17 m ago

I can only speak from my own experience, had an old Vaillant already in …I can only speak from my own experience, had an old Vaillant already in the house I just bought, engineer came out same day it broke, diagnosed then came the next day with over £500 of parts and spent 4 hours stripping down and cleaning the boiler all for £60 excess.[Image]


That's not £500 of parts, I would be surprised if it was even £200. You also forgot to mention the monthly fee you pay.

A pressure drop in minutes is quite rare for a passing PRV.
themorgatron4 m ago

That's not £500 of parts, I would be surprised if it was even £200. You a …That's not £500 of parts, I would be surprised if it was even £200. You also forgot to mention the monthly fee you pay.A pressure drop in minutes is quite rare for a passing PRV.



With labour probably not far off
Original Poster
Thank you everyone SO much for your replies, and thank you Moneybag for the offer of a fan heater but I'm in Staffordshire.

My neighbour has just been round to have a look. He took everything out of the airing cupboard and everything was soaked so there's an obvious leak. He concluded it's goosed and needs a plumber ASAP. I will manage for tonight but will ring round again tomorrow and see who I can find to come out.
Dannyrobbo5 m ago

With labour probably not far off


The BG salesman in a polo shirt claimed £500 in parts....There's very few gas men charging £75/hour. British Gas subbies would be paid ~£70 for that (as a 'long duration job', normal repairs are ~£42).
The cover was about £3.75 a month (discount for first policy) for the first year. I assume people would know that by me saying "excess" it would be obvious that is an insurance product, and prices for cover will vary.
This included a boiler service when I moved in, the out of hours diagnostic call-out, and the subsequent parts and labour.
I looked up the non-trade prices of every (genuine) part including gaskets and consumables he used out of sheer curiosity.
As you know if I were to hire a gas Safe engineer I wouldn't be paying the trade price, their markup is on top.
Here's the front cover alone, it needed replacement as the interior foam had deteriorated. Forgot to add, also got a "free" £13.99 movie credit and two "free" Hive bulbs and hub.
33389838-1uDsb.jpg
Edited by: "moneybag" 6th Mar
themorgatron45 m ago

The BG salesman in a polo shirt claimed £500 in parts....There's very few …The BG salesman in a polo shirt claimed £500 in parts....There's very few gas men charging £75/hour. British Gas subbies would be paid ~£70 for that (as a 'long duration job', normal repairs are ~£42).



you Find an emergency boiler engineer that comes out the same day and not charge you more than your quoted price. Hint, I bet you can’t
Try calling British Gas and consider taking out a Homecare Service Plan.

I arranged one for my in-laws and they always attend same day for "vulnerable" customers. Not the cheapest but you mostlt get excellent service.
Original Poster
Van197348 m ago

Try calling British Gas and consider taking out a Homecare Service Plan.I …Try calling British Gas and consider taking out a Homecare Service Plan.I arranged one for my in-laws and they always attend same day for "vulnerable" customers. Not the cheapest but you mostlt get excellent service.


Is that not closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?
squiff4 m ago

Is that not closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?


No - you may be able to persuade them to come out tomorrow to repair the boiler/system and carry out a service at the same time. Tell them your circumstances - they were great when dealing with my in-laws.
I suggest you look at Homecare 2 as your problem may be on the circulation system and not the boiler britishgas.co.uk/hom…er/
If you have a mortgage you will most likely have contents insurance too. Most the time it covers boilers too.
i once had to get a sparky out as electrics kept going, house insurance covered it, and I didn't even get charged excess.
Original Poster
Thanks everyone, I'll look into it. Thing is, I have a mortgage but for 30 days after coming out of hospital, I'm under a scheme whereby they send handymen in (free of charge), cleaners (you have to pay) and heating engineers (free), and a boiler service is free under this scheme so I'm getting it done for nowt whilst I have the chance. The heating engineer can't come out before Monday.
Edited by: "squiff" 6th Mar
So, what in the airing cupboard is leaking?.
Original Poster
ScubaDudes3 m ago

So, what in the airing cupboard is leaking?.


The boiler!
Sounds like heat exchanger might be leaking, hopefully just a pipe :(. Don't take cover off as you have to be gas Safe registered. Hope you can find a temporary solution and the weather stays a bit warmer. Gas fire?. Blankets?. Visit family/friends?.
Dannyrobbo2 h, 12 m ago

you Find an emergency boiler engineer that comes out the same day and not …you Find an emergency boiler engineer that comes out the same day and not charge you more than your quoted price. Hint, I bet you can’t


For regular customers I can guarantee seeing them the same day (unless I'm on holiday, in which case a friend will always get to them same/next day). I don't charge £75/hour. Of the 20+ plumbers I know, not one charges this. I'll also add, that the last 5 boiler repairs I completed (and I'm not including frozen pipes), they were all under £200 parts and labour. Not a single one was over the 'quoted' price because I understand the difference between a quote and an estimate (and I don't give estimates).

moneybag2 h, 36 m ago

The cover was about £3.75 a month (discount for first policy) for the …The cover was about £3.75 a month (discount for first policy) for the first year. I assume people would know that by me saying "excess" it would be obvious that is an insurance product, and prices for cover will vary.This included a boiler service when I moved in, the out of hours diagnostic call-out, and the subsequent parts and labour.I looked up the non-trade prices of every (genuine) part including gaskets and consumables he used out of sheer curiosity.As you know if I were to hire a gas Safe engineer I wouldn't be paying the trade price, their markup is on top.Here's the front cover alone, it needed replacement as the interior foam had deteriorated. Forgot to add, also got a "free" £13.99 movie credit and two "free" Hive bulbs and hub.[Image]


And I assumed your monthly fee would be an average ~£20, including a homeowner safety inspection (British Gas don't service boilers). You were incredibly lucky British Gas covered an obviously neglected boiler, they will bump up next years premiums based on call outs, and repair costs.
Squiff, I read that you're in Staffordshire, if your anywhere near the Macclesfied border with Leek then I can recommend a plumber. I doubt he'd travel much further into Staffordshire, but you could always check. Hope you get sorted before too long.
If you just come back from the hospital was the boiler switched off in this last week's cold snap or was it kept on u will most likely have pipes burst and other stuff if I was turned off and not drained out. And if it was on and stopped.working when u came back home the condense pipe may have frozen and stopped ur boiler probably best wait for the engineer know and go buy a small electric heater for the time being and keep clothed many layers rather than or 2 thick ones.
Original Poster
Thanks everyone. I'm on the Staffordshire-Cheshire border Booky but thanks for the offer.

I've been home from hospital for three weeks and have a long recovery ahead of me. The boiler was displaying fault F.28 during the high winds and snow last week which was essentially the flame being blown out. This fault corrected itself after the winds died down. Since then (three days ago) it has started throwing out code F.25 which is low pressure. As soon as I fill the boiler, it empties again - we just didn't know where from/to/why/how.

The good news is I phoned this agency this morning and they're sending out a plumber this afternoon between 2 & 5pm. They've delayed the service which was due to be next Monday because "we can't service something that isn't working". More later...
Original Poster
The automatic air pressure system has gone. Needs a replacement part which could take 1-2 days to come, then another 1-2 to be fitted. Meanwhile, I'm freezing and having to sign up to Prime to order a heater.
Original Poster
It was fixed late this afternoon after I spent practically all day trying to get people to do their jobs. £180 later, I now have heating and hot water. Let's just hope it lasts! Thanks so much everyone for your help and support
Original Poster
Delete that. Boiler has died again this afternoon and the plumbers are closed until Monday. I'm so angry right now I can't even put it into words. Day 5 or 6 today without heating or a shower and at least two days to go.
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